Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Eggplant Parmesan

2 lg. eggplants, sliced lengthwise or into round slices

Seasoned flour, recipe follows

1/2 cup olive oil, approximately

1 cup ricotta cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

2 cups pomodoro sauce

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1 tsp. fresh Italian parsley chopped

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Slice eggplant into thin slices. Dredge slices in seasoned flour. Fry in hot oil until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.

Combine ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmigiano and parsley until well-mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the tomato sauce onto the bottom of a baking dish. Top with a layer of prepared eggplant slices. Place a portion of the ricotta mixture on top of eggplant. Spoon more sauce over the layer and cover with mozzarella cheese.

Repeat for several layers and top with extra sauce and remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Top with chopped parsley before serving.

Seasoned Flour: Mix together 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper,

1/2 tsp. garlic powder and 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Pomodoro Sauce

2 lbs. ripe Italian plum tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes

1 small onion, finely minced
1 carrot, grated
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 cups tomato puree
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large non-reactive saucepan, cook onion until transparent. Add carrot and garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer for 20 minutes to thicken at medium heat.

Add basil and cook for a few minutes more.